Revelation 2 and 3 addresses seven churches in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyratira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. I doubt few of us could say where these churches were without looking at a Bible map or the Internet. We don’t know them but Jesus addresses each one personally, “I know…” about their strengths and their weaknesses and challenges them to repent and grow. He says, “I know your deeds,” “I know your afflictions,” “I know where you live,” “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance,” “I know your deeds and reputation,” “I know your deeds,” and again “I know your deeds.”
God knows and sees what is going on in our lives and in our churches. He knows if we are off track in our theology, sloppy in our care for each other, or guilty of gossip and favoritism. God’s knowing is not just head knowledge in order to judge us or like the way we know the driver’s manual to pass the test but it a personal knowing of realizing the forces we struggle against, the good we attempt and the future we are facing.
One of the famous verses of Revelation comes out of chapter 3, verse 20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and will eat with that person and they with me.” A painting of this scene will often show a Christ-like figure knocking but there will be no doorknob because the person inside must open the door and invite Christ in. Jesus does not force himself on people nor force us to become Christians but the invitation is always there.
So perhaps the question we could ponder this morning is whether there are doors in our life that we would prefer not to open and let God into that room of our house– the room where we keep guilt over failures, pain over losses, habits that seem more in control of us than we of them. When guests come we clean and put all the “mess” away in closets out of sight but not yet dealt with. We don’t want friends to see those messes, much less God. Perhaps spend a few moments meditating on whether there are places in your life where you need God’s help to clean up. Even as God knows what is going on in those seven churches, he knows what is going on in our lives. Not only does he know but he also cares. Blessings as you declutter!